MILWAUKEE — During a press conference on Sunday, Mayor Tom Barrett announced his plan to allocate over $30 million to support various housing activities in Milwaukee with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
This portion of the ARPA is part of the initial phase of funds that are to be used to increase housing and homeownership programs while also addressing potential displacement of residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Barrett said these funds will not only have an impact on potential homeowners, but also the city in general.
“With the ARPA funds, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make substantial investments that can positively impact residents in Milwaukee. One of my priorities is safe, affordable housing options for people here,” Barrett said. “By prioritizing housing investments in the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, we are addressing an important need that disproportionately affects low-income neighborhoods.”
The program will allow qualified homeowners to get zero percent interest deferred payment loans. They then would pay back the loan when selling or transferring the property. The proposal from the Mayor includes using $3 million of the funds to expand the Compliance Loan Program.
Other investments that promote affordable and sustainable housing include:
- $2 million for three low-income housing projects currently under development to assist those projects in overcoming COVID-19 economic hurdles
- $1.2 million for homebuyer and foreclosure counseling
- $1.2 million for the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee to expedite 2,000 housing vouchers for families with housing needs
- $1.8 million to support an eviction prevention program
- $5 million will be directed to help households struggling with high energy costs
- $15 million is planned for the Westlawn Choice Neighborhood Initiative project to provide gap funding and infrastructure investments
- $1.2 million for the Rental Housing Resource Center, which played a critical role in helping families during the pandemic
The first phase of the Mayor's plan will be reviewed by the city's Common Council over the next several weeks.